Monday, December 22, 2008

A Beadwoven Bracelet for Mak, and an Etsy front page appearance

Is the Christmas rush over yet? Good grief. It's been such a busy couple of weeks, and I finally feel like I have a little breathing room. Just a little, though. I still have a custom bracelet that needs to be finished tonight. And see what I'm doing? Beadweaving? Noooo. Writing in my blog. I need a break.

To begin, I'm offering a little advice to the other beadweavers who may come across this blog. DO NOT design a square stitch cuff that's 50 beads wide and worked with size 15 delicas. Or if you do, just be prepared for people to call you names. Insane. Crazy. Names like that.

I had never done square stitch, so I had no idea just how much longer it would take than peyote. I'm pretty quick at peyote, and I think I must be pretty quick at square stitch, but it's sooooooooo sloooooooooow. Wow. Each row seemed to take an eternity, and since the size 15s are so small there was miniscule progress as I finished each one. I'm all finished with that project now, but I can't show it here because there's a slim chance the recipient will see it. I'll have to wait until after I know she has it so I don't spoil the secret.

One other very special beadweaving project was for one of my Bead Art Originals friends, Mak (of MAKUstudio). She had a gorgeous raku heart pendant listed in her shop, and I just had to have it for one of my friends for a Christmas gift. I asked Mak if she'd be up for a trade, and she sent me a raku piece to be worked into a bracelet that she said would be her birthday present to herself.

What an honor to be able to create such a thing! I was so intent on making her bracelet absolutely perfect that it took me three tries to get the colors and the design just right. The raku piece, as you can see in this photo, is absolutely GORGEOUS. It shone with every color imaginable, so I wound up using a mixture of matte and shiny delicas that came the closest to the two main colors I saw in the raku.

I finished it and sent it to her in time for her birthday, and she said she loved it! HOORAY!!! The raku piece Mak sent me was quite a challenge to work with for a bracelet, but I was really happy with the way this looked and fit. One good thing is that her wrist is the same size as mine, so it made it very easy to do all the test fits.

Here are a couple of photos of the entire design. I decided to use crystal clear beads to mimic the hole in the raku piece, and then I used the same ones to make the toggles for the closure.

There are a couple of other exciting things to report this week. First, one of my cuffs wound up being shown on Etsy's front page on Saturday!!! It's always exciting to have something wind up there, and since it was a Saturday I think it was there for more than an hour! This beautiful blue and white treasury was curated by Marina (her Etsy shop is jolijoli).

Marina's relatively new to Etsy (only about three months), but her shop is filled with some beautiful jewelry. I know it's too late to do Christmas shopping now, but you could treat yourself with something gorgeous, couldn't you!??! Here's one of my favorite pieces from Marina's shop, a gorgeous green and purple cocktail ring made from freshwater pearls.

The other kind of exciting thing is that some of my Captioned Critters mini notecards are featured in the Etsy Gift Guides. I decided to offer a special for Christmas -- free domestic Priority Mail shipping for any order over $25, through Christmas Day. A few people have already taken advantage of it, and I have one order that's going out tomorrow. I know it probably won't make it to its destination in time for Christmas, but it's a good way to save some money anyway; and that's what the offer was all about. And doesn't my little Wellspoken Wombat look cute sitting there in the Gift Guide? (That's him under the Expedited Shipping Guide section.)

Okay, enough blogging. Off to do some beadweaving. I do have that bracelet to get finished...


Melody Marie Murray said...

Love the bracelet! Wow. Just gorgeous.

I loathe square stitch because it takes forever. I can't imagine it using 15s!

Leslie said...

I love seeing your new items. They are fantastic! congrats on front page.

Merry Christmas!

MAKUstudio said...

Thank you MaryLou! I just have to say that my bracelet is even more spectacular in person! It's the best birthday present ever! Everyone who sees it thinks it's stunning!!! Thanks again for all your hard work and love that you put into this marvelous creation! And, congrats on the front page! Merry Christmas!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

I can't wait to see your new bracelet! :) I LOVE the one you showed today!

Triz Designs said...

the bracelet is stunning!!!
as for squre stitch it's one of my favourite stitches, and don't find it any slower than peyote, however I would never Never think of using it with size 15!!!!! oh my I would go nuts trying!!! :-)Merry Xmas + happy new year!!!! :-)

Hot Rocks said...

Beautiful bracelet! Love the colors combined with the Raku. Merry Christmas!

Deb DiSalvo said...

love the raku piece - just gorgeous! Also glad I read your blog to see I was on the front page with you! My dichroic cufflinks! Wow- I've never seen myself on the front page before until now!!! Yippee!!!
Have a great holiday!


You never cease to amaze me! Have a wonderful Christmas!!!!!! Wishing you the best!

Meg said...

love love love the ring! so fun!